Paramount Global lost $238 million from its streaming business this summer — and that’s a good thing.
The number is a marked improvement over recent quarters (a $424 million loss in Q2 and a $511 million loss in Q1), and quite a bit better than the market expected. Paramount executives now say they believe their streaming losses peaked last year, and that we will no longer see a (new) peak this year. Next stop: profitability?
More from IndieWire
Paramount+ added 2.7 million subscribers in the summer 2023 quarter. The core (there’s also BET+, Noggin, Pluto TV, and the vanishing Showtime OTT app) Paramount Global streaming service now has more than 63 million subs, up from 61 million at the end of June. FAST-industry leader Pluto TV no longer reports monthly active users; at the end of March, MAUs had been 80 million.
The company’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) business posted expenses of $1.93 billion from July to September. The same line item tallied $2.1 billion in Q2 and $2 billion in Q1. (In the first quarter, Paramount began recognizing huge charges related to the integration of Showtime into Paramount+.)
Q3 was the first full quarter of that integration. (The rebrand only existed for a handful of days in Q2.) The Showtime OTT app is set to be sunsetted; the linear channel will remains — for now.
Wall Street had forecast Paramount Global’s third-quarter earnings per share at about 11 cents on $7.12 billion in revenue. Paramount Global posted adjusted earnings of 30 cents per share on $7.133 billion in revenue.
Paramount Global’s stock (PARA on the NASDAQ) has had an awesome day (as has the stock market in general). Before the earnings were announced, shares had jumped 10 percent. As of this writing, they are up another 8 percent in after-hours trading.
Market confidence (and PARA’s price) is certainly not up because of Paramount’s Q3 2023 performance at the box office.
Paramount Pictures put out “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem,” and “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie” in Q3; “Paw Patrol 2” only played for two days in the quarter.
The studio’s mix of films gave Paramount a larger revenue haul vs. the same quarter in 2022 (the one after “Top Gun: Maverick” did most of its damage) — but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily a good quarter for Paramount Pictures. “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One” was the bummer of the bunch. It made $567 million at the global box office, which was a letdown, and ultimately got buried by the “Barbenheimer” craze. Paramount took an unplanned “L” there.
Paramount pulled “Dead Reckoning Part Two” from its 2024 release schedule — it’s now dated for May 23, 2025 — and pulled the title itself from the Tom Cruise film. As of right now, we’re all just referring to the coming installment as “Mission: Impossible 8.”
The animated “Ninja Turtles” film drew just $180 million at the global box office, but it was produced on a much lighter budget. Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo padded Paramount’s pockets — somewhat.
Best of IndieWire